Amazon shows series with commercial breaks
On Amazon Freevy, films and series can be watched without additional costs, but with commercial breaks.
Photo: Steven Sen/AP/DPA
A new service has arrived in the jungle of streaming offers. Amazon is behind it and takes a look at Germany’s advertising market. Will free streaming really compete with the subscription model?
Updated: 2022-08-03 13:49
Berlin. There are signs of a trend in the booming streaming market. That in itself is nothing new for the Germans. For decades we have been accustomed to commercial and public television commercials flickering in our living rooms.
The American Internet group Amazon is also relying on advertising revenue with new streaming offers. Users watch the series with commercial breaks, but everything is free. How strong will this trend be in this country?
When streaming – i.e. the playback of moving image content over the Internet via platforms other than continuous, predetermined TV programs – became established, many providers relied on subscription income instead of advertising. Netflix, Disney+, Apple, DAZN, Sky and Amazon rely on subscription cards for their Prime Video streaming service. Many Germans like to stream and get several subscriptions at the same time – Netflix and Amazon are ahead in this country with studies and market observers.
advertising instead of costs
There are also mixed models: for example, the RTL Group’s RTL+ platforms and ProSiebenSat.1’s Joyon offer free advertising-financed offers, while these platforms also have subscription models. Now advertising financing in streaming is getting a big boost with Amazon. The advertising market for video providers is lucrative, as has been seen in the multi-billion dollar TV market for decades. Or even on Youtube.
A closer look at the Amazon Freevee offers launched on Wednesday: films and series are shown at no extra charge but with commercial breaks. Germany is the third country after the US and UK to have this offer.
“We give users an offer that they would normally expect behind a paywall,” said an Amazon spokesman for the German Press Agency. It will be a mix of in-house productions, outdoor films and series that are in the portfolio through licenses, and potentially linear TV channels. Amazon Freevy will initially offer thematically programmed linear live channels – for example BBC Food or BBC Travel. All channels are available in German.
Austria should follow
Ryan Pirozzi, co-head of Amazon’s content business, told DPA about the goal of Amazon FreeV: “We want to reach as many customers as possible.” The group named a goal for Amazon Freevy in terms of customers and sales in Germany Not. Austria is to follow at a later date as another European country.
Amazon is already present in the streaming market with Prime Video. The moving image service is part of a Prime subscription that lets you listen to music or save on shipping while shopping on the Amazon platform. The subscription price has recently increased.
The consulting and market research company GoldMedia sees potential effects of the new free Amazon service. GoldMedia Managing Director Klaus Goldhammer told DPA about the proposal: “It could re-establish the streaming market in Germany.” Those who have previously shyed away from a subscription can now be lured. Likewise young people who have no purchasing power.
Goldhammer also believes there will be an impact on the traditional television advertising market. Linear private TV stations like RTL Group or ProSiebenSat.1 could face competition if advertisers switch to Amazon Freevee. Goldhammer said new competitive pressure could arise for public broadcasting with ARD and ZDF, which are currently expanding their media libraries and streaming services. Because if you wanted to stream without a subscription and what you were looking for on ARD and ZDF, you now have another option to choose from.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220803-99-258935/4 (by Anna Ringle, dpa)